$30m expansion streamlines Lake Mac waste facility
On 27 February a revamped Community Recycling Centre, new waste transfer station and two giant landfill cells are among the features of a $30 million Awaba Waste Management Facility expansion was unveiled.
Speaking at a ceremony marking the expansion, Mayor of Lake Macquarie, Councillor Kay Fraser, said the new features would significantly streamline the process for residents dropping off waste and recyclables.
“The new Community Recycling Centre is right at the entrance of the facility, meaning Lake Mac residents can now drop off their recyclables and problem household wastes, without having to go over the weighbridge into the site,” Cr Fraser said.
“And the waste transfer station opening later this year will provide a place for vehicles under two tonnes to drop off waste easily, safely and without visiting the tip face.”
The new landfill cells are expected to be in use by October, with the combined capacity to hold almost 38,500 garbage truck-loads of waste.
Lake Macquarie City Council Deputy CEO, Tony Farrell, said the cells would significantly extend the life of the facility.
“Looking at these enormous cells provides a very tangible indication of how much waste a city the size of Lake Macquarie produces,” Mr Farrell said.
“We’re expecting they will be full in 12 years’ time. It’s important to note that without our new three-bin system, with food waste going into the green bin each week, they would reach capacity in just eight-and-a-half years.”
“Further expansion planned down the track, and ongoing diversion of waste, mean Awaba Waste Management Facility should serve Lake Macquarie for at least the next 30 years.”
The current expansion also includes a new weighbridge, and a separate wheel wash for heavy vehicles using the site.
A new administration building at the site entrance, featuring recycled timber and other reclaimed materials, includes offices, meeting rooms and a new amenities block.
Mr Farrell said expressions of interest were being sought for a local charity or other organisation to operate a ‘tip shop’ adjoining the Community Recycling Centre, where unwanted household items in good condition could be dropped off and resold.
“This is a great way to reduce the amount of waste going to landfill and close the loop locally on recyclable items,” Mr Farrell said.
Almost 23,700 tonnes of waste were reused or recycled at Awaba Waste Management Facility in the 2017-2018 financial year, including more than 2000 tonnes of problem household material processed by the Community Recycling Centre.
The total amount of recycled material is expected to increase steeply this year following the introduction of the new three-bin system and the opening of the REMONDIS organics processing facility.
The new landfill cells will be lined with seven protective layers, using the latest technology to prevent decomposed waste leaching into the surrounding environment.
The expansion project is supported by the Environmental Trust as part of the NSW EPA’s Waste Less, Recycle More initiative, funded from the waste levy.